July, 21, 2107
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned Friday in a move apparently tied to the hiring of a new top communications aide, marking a major shakeup in the president’s press shop at an already tumultuous time.
Spicer’s departure was confirmed just moments after President Trump met with the man being tapped for White House communications director, Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci.
Speculation about Spicer’s status with the White House has run rampant for months, but the appointment of Scaramucci was seen as a deciding factor in his resignation.
Spicer tweeted Friday afternoon, “It’s been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August.”
Spicer originally was supposed to lead a newly restructured communications operation. Under that structure, the communications director would report to him — which may have caused a conflict with Scaramucci. And Spicer reportedly questioned the hiring.
His departure comes as Trump has shown growing frustration with the ongoing Russia meddling probe and the massive attention it receives in the media. Spicer has defended Trump throughout the controversy, but had taken on a lower-profile role in recent weeks.
Spicer’s daily briefings were a must-see event during the opening months of the Trump presidency. But Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has since taken the lead on many daily press briefings — which mostly are held off camera and no longer televised live.
However, Sanders is slated to hold an on-camera briefing Friday at 2 p.m. ET
While Spicer is close to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, Priebus told The Associated Press that he supports Scaramucci “100 percent.”
“We go back a long, long way and are very good friends,” Priebus said of Scaramucci. “All good here.”
Spicer’s abrupt exit also came on a busy day for changes in Trump’s inner circle.
News broke overnight on the resignation of Mark Corallo, who had been the lead spokesman on behalf of Trump’s long-time personal attorney Marc Kasowitz and the legal team. Corallo, who was previously a spokesman for the Justice Department, reportedly objected to public criticisms of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. His resignation followed Trump telling The New York Times that he didn’t want Mueller investigating Trump family business ties outside the Russia scope.
Kasowitz, meanwhile, is stepping back to take a lower-profile role.
A source said Kasowitz will continue to give his input and guidance to the president, as well as all members of the outside counsel.
Meanwhile, Scaramucci, who supported Trump during the general election, is expected to fill the White House role that has remained vacant since Mike Dubke’s resignation in May. His background is in the financial ranks of New York, having founded a global hedge fund. He later worked with Trump’s team during the campaign and transition and more recently was named senior vice president and chief strategy officer of the Export-Import Bank in June.
Spicer’s departure marks the end of a rocky tenure in which the president’s top spokesman at times struggled to keep pace with Trump’s sometimes-chaotic leadership style — and a swirl of controversies.
During the 2016 election cycle, Spicer was the chief strategist and communications director of the Republican National Committee. He later came to the White House along with Priebus, the former RNC chairman who is now Trump’s chief of staff.
Spicer hasn’t had the rosiest relationship with the media since joining the White House. He’s clashed with reporters over “fake news” and said repeatedly the president was fed up with news reports that were “patently false.”
In February, he came under fire for barring reporters from several media outlets from participating in a scheduled press briefing.
His prickly relationship with the press was widely mocked on “Saturday Night Live” with Melissa McCarthy playing Spicer.
Fox News’ John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sean Spicer resigns as White House Press Secretary
White House press Secretary Sean Spicer has resigned, just six months after holding the job, according to White House sources.
Spicer made his decision after President Donald Trump appointed long-time loyalist Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director.
“It’s been an honor & a privilege to serve [President Donald Trump] and this amazing country,” Spicer wrote on Twitter. “I will continue my service through August.”
Spicer, a career political spokesperson, was deeply opposed to the idea and resigned in protest to Trump’s decision.
Speaking on the phone with CNN’s Dana Bash, Spicer said that he wanted to give Scaramucci a “clean slate” to do his job, although Trump asked him to stay in his job.
After White House communications director Mike Dubke resigned in May, Spicer tried to position himself as the replacement. That effort failed, as Trump decided to select a Trump loyalist as a successor.
White House reporters were asked to clear the hallways of the press area while Spicer met with press staff in his office following the decision. Laughing and clapping was heard coming out of the room.
Trump’s decision marks a big shakeup in the communications office that has struggled to effectively combat the media. Spicer’s six-month career was beset by controversy, as he struggled to battle the mainstream media onslaught of hostility against the young Trump administration.
Saturday Night Live mocked Spicer’s efforts by featuring actress Melissa McCarthy as a parody of the press secretary who frequently lost his cool while answering questions from journalists.
Trump was loyal to Spicer despite misgivings about his performance, but closely scrutinized his work. Spicer’s daily briefings became popular entertainment for television and online audiences, prompting the White House to move them off-camera, despite protests from the media.
Spicer is scheduled to appear on the Fox News Channel tonight with Sean Hannity to discuss his decision to resign.
Kristina Wong contributed to this report.
SCARAMUCCI TAKES REINS OF WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS, SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS ELEVATED TO PRESS SECRETARY
Acknowledges “media bias” against Trump
July 21, 2107 by Jerome Corsi
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the first White House press conference televised since June 29, Sarah Huckabee Sanders faced a barrage of questions as the mainstream media detractors of President Trump explored their “palace intrigue” conspiracy theories as to why White House Director of Communications resigned Friday.
The press briefing began with the new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci announcing Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been appointed to be the new White House Press Secretary.
From the first question, Scaramucci took objection to being asked how he would get the White House communications “back on track” with President Trump determined to be his own press secretary, tweeting at will.
Throughout the press briefing, he pushed back against repeated questions objecting to Trump’s use of Twitter, responding it was important for Trump “to get out his own message,” defending the president’s ability to use social media directly, without the intermediation of staff screeners.
Scaramucci also pushed back against various attempts by mainstream media to get a commitment the White House would turn the cameras on again during daily White House briefings, reversing the policy to shut off cameras as an attempt to end the “televised act-up hour” in which mainstream media reporters opposed to the president competed to get televised “sound bites” asking antagonistic or otherwise abusive questions.
Scaramucci insisted the White House communications did not have to be placed “back on course,” and that his job was to advance the White House message to the best of his abilities.
“I grew up in the middle class and I feel the struggle the middle class feels,” Scaramucci acknowledged. “I admin President Trump felt the middle-class struggle before me.”
Scaramucci explained he will begin assuming his responsibilities in two weeks, giving the White House ethics staff time to make sure all possible conflicts will be eliminated, given his successful business career founding SkyBridge Capital, a global investment firm based in New York City.
Confronted with his support of Jeb Bush during the 2016 campaign and his comment the Trump campaign was a “spectacle,” Scaramucci apologized for making the comment, noting that he was now fully supportive of President Trump as “a winner.”
Asked his opinion about “Fake News,” Scaramucci acknowledged he was aware of “media bias” and he hoped he could improve the media’s view of the Trump administration in his new job in the West Wing.
Scaramucci declined to comment on whether General McMasters or other high profile White House appointees may be the next to resign.